The Circle of Life

5 years ago

Who has two thumbs and forgot to unbuckle her seat belt before attempting to exit her car in the grocery store parking lot yesterday?


Clearly, I'm gifted. 

No. Really. I was in the Gifted and Talented program in elementary school. I have a certificate and everything.


Well, obviously the criteria for getting into the program wasn't all that rigorous, but there I was, for Grades 2 through 5, in the G/T program.

The program consisted of leaving my regular classroom for an hour or two once a week, meeting in an empty classroom and receiving 'enrichment' activities with all the other smarties in my grade. I was a proud member of the Mayflower Mill Elementary Nerd Herd.

I just made up that name. We weren't officially called the Nerd Herd, but we should have been. The group was comprised mostly of future Mathletes, Dungeons and Dragons Masters, Academic Decathlon members and … me.

Yeah, we were a pretty attractive bunch.

For the most part, I liked being a member of the G/T program and the enrichment activities were rife with pretty sweet stuff to do. Some stuff was lame (the math junk), but most of the activities were fun and I instantly felt smarter for having done them.

We played a lot with tangrams, which are differently shaped plastic pieces that you had to fit together to make other, more interesting shapes like a rabbit or the Eiffel Tower. I totally dug tangrams, mainly because our tangrams smelled amazing. Like a mixture of baby powder and play-doh with a dash of Elmer's glue for zestiness.

A couple of years ago I downloaded a tangram app for my phone. The basics are the same as when I was a kid, but the smell? Well, virtual tangrams smell nothing like the ones stored in Mr. Harrell's big cabinet under the sink. 

As much as I adored tangrams, my absolute favorite enriching activities were the visual word puzzles. These word puzzles had different words arranged to represent popular phrases like this:






Did you figure it out? Think Jm J. Bullock as Monroe.

Yay! You got it! It's too close for comfort.

Genius. Pure, unadulterated genius.

Try this one:




Here. I'll help you. Think Gary Coleman.

Still don't get it?

What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?

It's different strokes. Get it? 'Cause all the 'strokes' are in different fonts. Love it! 

You know, I just realized that perhaps my love of visual word puzzles isn't because I enjoy figuring out the answers. I'm thinking it's because I adored watching 'Too Close For Comfort' and 'Different Strokes' on TV and I get a warm fuzzy feeling whenever either show is mentioned.

See, this is why I love having a blog. I learn so much about myself, which makes me feel better as a person. Then I share it with you and you feel better as a person because you feel smarter than the 'gifted' kid who forgot to unbuckle her seat belt before attempting to exit the Honda.

It's the Circle of Life, people.


Jen keeps a quirky and (sometimes) humorous blog,, where she writes of her life (with occasional flashbacks to the 80s) and shares her non-award winning photos.

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